7 Favorite Quotes from “The Silent Shepherd” by John MacArthur Jr.

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It pays to wisely use an Amazon gift card and if there would be a great deal, use it immediately.  That’s why I got Total Truth by Nancy R. Pearcey and The Silent Shepherd by John F. MacArthur at a markdown price.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from The Silent Shepherd by John MacArthur. You can buy it at Amazon for $ 0.99 by clicking this link.

“The only perfect mediator who could meet all the qualifications for fair, just, and complete mediation was Jesus Christ, who was both God and man.”

“The danger with an undue stress on the gifts and leading of the Holy Spirit is that personal experience is often elevated over the objective truth of Scripture.”

“…the Holy Spirit’s role is crucial in bringing us to salvation, in empowering us to live our lives in Christ, and in bringing us to ultimate perfection in glory.”

“The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not a mystical force or metaphysical influence. He is a divine person—the third person of the Trinity—and acknowledging that fact is absolutely essential to an orthodox understanding of who He is.”

“God’s gift of the Spirit to us is His verification to us that our salvation will be completed in glorification. It is His promise to give us all the future blessings of that salvation.”

“The phrase “is inspired by God” is a translation of the theologically important Greek word theopneustos, which literally means “God-breathed.” The very use of this term, with the root pneustos closely related to pneuma, “spirit,” strongly implies the Holy Spirit was involved in the entire process of revealing God’s Word.”

“Many people are confused by the term total depravity. It does not mean that all people are as evil as they can possibly be. It means that the principle of sin has pervaded every aspect of human nature. We are corrupted through and through with sin.”

Embracing the ESV Seminar with Dr. Dane C. Ortlund

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The swelling heat in Manila didn’t stop an ESV seminar about Christ-centered Bible reading. This is the second leg of the seminar which took off last Friday at Central United Methodist Church with the topic How the Whole Bible Fits Together.  Then the following day, Saturday,  Dr. Ortlund is scheduled to deliver a talk at Philippine Bible Society. Me and Greg registered on that talk for that’s our vacant day and the weekend has less traffic. He was as always, early and I just came just in time for the seminar to start.

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The 3rd floor hall of PBS was packed with folks who wants to hear this relevant topic. Dr. Dane C. Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Bible Publishing at Crossway, shares Jesus as the Center of the Whole Bible or how to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Along with him is his team that also participated in the seminar.

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We were formally welcomed to the Philippine Bible Society and the seminar by Nora Lucero, General Secretary of PBS. In a few minutes she discussed what’s PBS is all about and their current program to make the Bible known to the Filipino people. Then she turn it over to Derek Hill, director of enterprise of the Bible Society and one of the member of Dr. Ortlund’s team. He then briefly introduce our speaker, Dr. Dane C. Ortlund.

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“The Bible is all about Jesus. Not just in the gospels. Not just in the New Testament.” Dr. Ortlund opens his talk with those words. He moved on by giving us the 6 Ways Not to read the Bible. He then proceeds to the misconceptions of the phrase “Christ-centered”. Once those points were established, Dr. Ortlund goes to the main topic by giving 5 things we should consider on being Christ-centered in reading the Bible. The 1 and 1/2 hour flew so fast then we had a 30 minute Q and A. Dr. Ortlund ends his talk with a short discussion on reading the Book of Leviticus with a Christ-centered lens.

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The seminar was short and we wish that it will be whole day affair because we know their are lots of areas that can still be addressed by Dr. Ortlund. I hope and pray that Dr. Ortlund and his team will comeback to Manila soon for another round of seminars. Me and the rest of the 100 + participants really enjoyed his talk.

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Thank you Philippine Bible Society (PBS) for the invite and hosting a seminar that reminds us to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Thank you for those ESV devotionals of the Gospel of John which we will prayerfully share to other. Also thank you Dr. Dane Ortlund and his team for coming here in Manila and sharing a wonderful topic that leaves us hungering for the Word of God.

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Here’s a special treat for you my readers. I’m sharing a piece of the seminar of Dr. Ortlund. In this 4 minute video, Dr. Ortlund shares 6 Ways Not to Read the Bible.

and another bonus is an audio recording of the last part of the seminar, Christ-centered Reading of the Book of Leviticus.

 

The Quotable Round-Up #118

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The mid-term election is now over here in the Philippines. We can see defeats and victories of those who ran for office. Some are already proclaimed winners. Now lets get back to reality and pray for these newly elected officials that they may serve this country well. There are lots of works to do to help this country move forward. Whether you like the officials or not, keep them in prayers. And always remember the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men.

Anyways, here’s 7 quotes from the new book by Sean McDowell & J. Warner Wallace, So The Next Generation Will Know. The book review is on it’s way but if you want to get the book, click on this Amazon link to place your order.

“… a biblical worldview is grounded in biblical teaching. You can’t align your life to the truth of the Bible if you don’t even know what it says. That’s why everything begins and ends with the study of God as revealed in Scripture: theology.”

“If Christianity is considered to be just a subjective opinion (an individualistic preference about God) and not the unique and only cure for spiritual death (regardless of an individual’s personal opinion), don’t be surprised when young people treat Christianity more like a cookie than a cure.”

“Worldview is not just about the mind—it is also about the orientation of the heart. Simply put, a worldview is a fundamental commitment to reality that shapes how we live.”

“…worldview as simply a view of the world that answers three critical questions: (1) How did we get here?—Origin; (2) Why is everything so messed up?—Predicament; and (3) How can we fix it?—Resolution.”

“…every generation of young people has sought to find their place in the world. But what is different for Gen Z is the depth of loneliness many feel and the availability of endless counterfeits that claim to be able to fill their hearts with meaning.”

“The next generation of Christians faces spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and moral challenges like no prior group of believers. And much of this is because of the ubiquity of technology. Members of Generation Z face more challenges just one click away than previous generations did when they would look for it.”

“Theology and apologetics are not direction­less pursuits. They point us toward holy behaviors and provide us with answers to several questions that matter to young people.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #117

zlhzkl3Have you watched “American Gospel”? We’ll I did this week and it was excellent. The documentary really nailed the prosperity gospel. It’s 2 hours and 19 minutes full of moving interviews and clips that will open your eyes to the deception of this movement. Here’s some quotes from the film and if you want to get copy of it click here.

“The ultimate gift of the gospel is not these all other things, it’s God Himself. God is both the giver and the gift.”
— Trevin Wax

“If someone doesn’t have the right view of the gospel, they don’t have the right view of anything.”
— Paul Washer

“There’s an assumption that unbeliver’s are seeking after God. When in reality, they are seeking after a God of their own choosing.” — Anthony Wood

“The prosperity gospel is exactly like marrying someone for their money.” — Sean Demars

“The reason why people teach that it’s always God’s will to heal and if it doesn’t the problem is them, is because that’s a good way to manipulate people. Prosperity theology means money.” — Costi Hinn

“One of the quickest way to spot a counterfeit gospel is to ask the question, ‘Who is this gospel about?’ Is this gospel or good news primarily about you and your personal happiness or is it a message about God.” — Trevin Wax

“In terms of biblical Christianity, Christianity is about dying.” — Michael Horton

 

The Rebel’s Dictionary: Snoremon

The Rebel’s Dictionary injects humor and satire to made up words. TRD’s goal isn’t to poke fun on individuals or use these words to label a person or entity.  By using funny words as jump off point, TRD aims to discuss issues concerning Christians, the church and Christianity at large. At the end of every entry, TDR includes biblical and practical answers. 

The Rebel’s Dictionary Entry #2

Snoremon (noun) – refers to a sermon that induces sleep to the hearers. It might not be the message itself that pushes the snooze button to the listener because of the different factors involve. It might be the way the sermon is delivered or the length of the sermon (commonly in long messages). Regardless, because of a snoremon, rather than becoming a worship service, the Sunday program becomes a sleep over fellowship.

 

Reality Check: The problem with snoremons is a two way street. It’s not just the pastor’s part but also the pew. A pastor may do the best of his skills to craft and deliver a sermon.  However he can’t control the listeners in other weak areas he or she might have. The best solution is a pastor should diligently polish his messages and the listeners should be a diligent receiver of the message.  Here are some tips that might will help you fight snoremon:

Book Review: Preaching With Passion by Alex Montoya (The book is available at PCBS)

5 Reasons Why Your Sermon is Boring (and 5 Ways to Fix it)

5 Essential Things to Prepare Before Sunday Service 

If you’re a member consider praying for you pastor and for yourself 

Church members should consider practicing this to avoid falling asleep.

Desiring God: Listening to the Word Preached 

 

 

The Digital Round-Up (Warren W. Wiersbe Edition)

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Well known for his popular study Bible, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe passed away last May 3. The evangelical world will miss this pastor that have touched many including countless pastor’s who uses his study Bible and books as they prepare their sermons. As for me, his “Be” series and study Bible had impacted me because of its accesibilty. The series is constantly included in this blog’s “The Freebie Round-Up” whenever David C. Cook gives way it for free. In fact, that’s why that round up existed to cater Wiersbe free e-books. 

In this special Digital Round-Up, I collected some articles from my blog that featured Dr. Wiersbe. Click the link and enjoy these gems from “the pastor’s pastor”. I also include links to other websites that you might like.

Book Review: The Wiersbe Bible Commentary by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe

Warren W. Wiersbe on Divine Sovereignity and Human Responsibility

FREE e-book “Answers to Pastors FAQs” by Warren W. Wiersbe – a comprehensive book loaded with advice from a pastor to a pastor. David C. Cook offers this by signing up through e-mail.

Quotable Round-Up #8

Quotable Round-Up #7

Quotable Round-Up #6

Notable offsite links:

Books by Dr. Wiersbe available for purchase at CLC Philippines

The Be Series commentaries available free over Bible Gateway

Back to the Bible tribute for Dr.  Wiersbe 

36 Quotes from Warren W. Wiersbe 

 

 

Unveiling Baptist Brider Heresy: Delighting Grace Interviews Zigfred Diaz

lfcma6vThis is the second part of my interview with Zigfred Diaz, author of the paper, Battling Baptist Bogus Beliefs. After discussing the Baptist successionism or Landmarkism, Zigfred Diaz focuses on the Baptist Brider teaching. In this teaching which is common to independent fundamental Baptist or Bible Baptist (as they are called here in the Philippines), the true Brider of Christ, who He will marry on the marriage supper for the Lamb in heaven is the Baptist church. Stranger as it may sound, these Baptist group teaches it on the pulpit and in Sunday School. So Zigfred get into the bottom of this and what he unveils is quite surprising.

  By the way, if you haven’t read the first paper on Baptist successionism you can download it here free. Also read the complementary interview with that paper by clicking here. If you want to read the second part, you can download it on the link provided at the end of this interview.

Delighting Grace: Good to have you again pastor. For the record please tell us what’s your motive behind writing a paper about Baptist Brider? 

Zigfred Diaz: Before I get into that, thanks for featuring one of my theological paper again in your blog. You know one of the problems of academic writing is that in most cases only in a few instances will it ever have mass penetration. So I am grateful once again for this opportunity as this will enable a lot of our Baptist bretheren to know about this issue.

Having said that, let’s jump right into the question shall we ? My motive for writing a paper on Baptist Brider is the same as my motive for writing my paper on Baptist successionism/landmarkism. First of all, having come from an independent fundamental Baptist background I am very much familiar and concerned about this false doctrine. I have somehow put it in my “To Do list” (and I have a thousand items there including papers to write hehehe) a long time ago. I am glad that this opportunity came for me to write it. I am very much concerned that a lot of my friends within independent fundamentalists circles has been blindly following that doctrine and a lot of my fellow pastor friends has also been blindly propagating it for whatever reasons they might have. Because I am out of that denomination now (I now pastor a Southern Baptist Church with a decidedly Reformed bent), I can now freely speak freely on certain matters that has been bothering me. (that is why I got out of the independent fundamentalists Baptist group in the first place) It is my hope and prayer that I might be able to shed light on this issue.

Secondly, this is in compliance with my requirements in my ecclesiology and eschatology subject at Veritas International University where I am currently doing my degree in Masters of Divinity majoring in Christian Apologetics. I always love to hit more than two birds with two stones so my writing this paper is one of those moments that I have done exactly just that. When I was going through the course work in my subject on ecclesiology and eschatology, I thought to myself what more better opportunitycan I findfind to write about these two subject areas than in the Baptist Brider issue ? So I am thankful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity.

Delighting Grace:  So from the Landmarkism/Baptist successionism now you are tackling Baptist Brider heresy. So what’s the connection of this subject to Landmarkism?

Zigfred Diaz: Baptism Successionism/Landmarkism is the foundational basis for the Baptist brider heresy. Without it there would be no Baptist Brider heresy. Baptist successionism/landmarkism is a result of poor and unscholarly historical research that forces the issue that Baptist as a denomination can trace an unbroken lineage back to the time of the New Testament church. This distortion of historical facts has resulted into some kind of Baptist elitism that looks down on other denominations resulting to this false and heretical doctrine of the Baptist Brider heresy wherein it is taught that that the local independent Baptist church is the bride of Jesus Christ and that only members of a true local independent Baptist church will be married to Jesus Christ in the Marriage Super of the Lamb as described in Revelation chapter 19. The reasoning behind this of course stems from the claim that “Baptist” is the one true church (the exclusion of all other denominations) and hence is the one true bride of Christ.

A preposterous variant of this false doctrine even teaches that non Baptist denominations will just become “waiters” or “servers” in the marriage supper of the lamb. (Honestly speaking this is so hilarious that I could fall off my chair laughing at the thought of this) The Baptist Brider Heresy has no basis whatsoever in Scriptures and is based on the errors of Baptist Successionism/Landmarkism which in turn has no historical basis whatsoever.

Delighting Grace:  Is the time and process in writing this differ from the previous one?

Zigfred Diaz: Before I answer this question let me just say that I love academic research and research in general. Research helps me learn new things and helps all of us get to the bottom of the truth. Research takes time and the process in most research is more or less the same especially in comparison with my previous paper as they are somewhat related and intertwined subjects.

Since I have already done research and has written a paper on Baptist successionism/Landmarkism which is the foundational core of the Baptist Brider doctrine, the time it took to research and write the paper on this is much lesser. With regards to the process, as mentioned it is more or less the same. This time however I did not go to the Baptist Theological Forum to gather data or information about this issue. I already personally know  that a lot of Baptist especially independent fundamentalists Baptist, hold on to the doctrine. I did engage in private conversations with some people I know in order to verify if the Baptist Brider doctrine they hold on to is the same with what was said in the materials that I will cite in my paper and if there are any variants to the said doctrine. I did already hear several messages from the pulpit advocating the Baptist Brider position when I was still in independent fundamentalist Baptist circles. But that was a long time ago.

In order to have a good and quality research I need to validate the information.Through private conversations with people I personally know, I validated that what I heard before and what I read about what of people hold about the Baptist Brider heresy were more or less the same.

Delighting Grace:  I read the paper and I just can’t believe what I’m reading. Are these Baptist Brider believers not employing sound interpretation and common sense. How did they end up with this messy doctrine?

Zigfred Diaz: That is a very good question.Considering that a lot of these Baptist Briders hold on to unsound interpretation and a lot of the doctrines they hold on to are unscriptural, lacks logic and even defies common sense, in some way I am not surprised anymore. Let me just say this bluntly, sadly common sense is not so common in a lot of doctrines I have encountered in several Baptist denominations.  

When I was still within independent fundamentalists Baptist circles it was very ironic that we were asked to always bring our Bibles in church and one of the reasons for this we were told is that so that we can check if what the pastor is preaching is truly from God’s Words and that somehow he got the interpretation of Scriptures right. However anybody who questions the interpretation will somehow be branded as some kind of a rebel or to use their term “touching” or going against “God’s anointed.”This kind of dictatorial and despotic rule is probably one factor why Baptist Briders ended up with such messy doctrine. (And not only the Baptist Brider Doctrine but other doctrines as well including issues in soteriology, KJV Onlyism, Baptist successionism etc. issues that I have written papers on, I am really serious about turning “Battling Bogus Beliefs” into a book soon).

Nobody dares to question the pastor as he is God’s anointed. It would be good if you have a pastor who really studies the issues, follows what God says and what He really means by what He says and uses sound logic and critical thinking when dealing with certain doctrines and issues. But if you have  a pastor who merely parrots the garbage that is being fed to him in conferences and by other fellow pastors then you have a big problem and the result is churches and denominations that end up with messed up doctrines such as the Baptist Brider heresy. And because nobody dares question the pastor this has produced a kind of anti-scholarship attitude. This kind of attitude has certainly fueled the proliferation of unscriptural, logically unsound and “messy” doctrines as you would call it. In the future I look forward to doing research on Baptist ecclesiology more particularly power structures in Baptist churches and its relation to theology and theopraxy. 

Delighting Grace: Another thing that struck me and I find offensive is calling other non Baptist believers to be “servants” in the marriage supper of the Lamb because they dont belong to a Baptist church. Isn’t that similar to a Mormon teaching on how they treat  white and black skinned people and also Jehovah’s Witnesses 140,000 teachings?

Zigfred Diaz: Well in some sense it is similar to those doctrines. Similar in a sense that certain groups of people are treated a certain way because of a particular doctrine but that such doctrine is based on an erroneous interpretation of Scriptures. The only difference is that in the case of the Mormons and the Jehovah’s witnesses the discriminatory treatment is an actual or experienced reality already considering that Mormons follow certain church policies in dealing with dark skinned people (which critics brand as racial discrimination and which officially the Mormons deny) and in the Jehovah’s witness case only the 144,000 are allowed to partake in the communion.

In the case of Baptist briders there is no actual “discriminatory” practice since the “discrimination” so to speak will supposedly happen in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There is however a “discriminatory” attitude. The Baptist Brider heresy has produced an elitist attitude and there is no doubt that those who hold on to such attitude do not have much fellowship with other Protestant denominations or even other Baptist denominations. (Just ask pastors in interdenominational local ministerial groups how many Baptist are there or how many Baptist participate in interdenominational evangelistic activities and you will know what I am talking about).

This kind of attitude is doing so much damage to the body of Christ as a whole because instead of us uniting in things that we have in common, those who hold on to Baptist Successionism/Landmarkism and the Brider doctrine have produced an elitist, separatist attitude which in reality has really no Biblical and even historical basis.

Delighting Grace: Another thing I observed in the paper is the use Matt. 16: 18 just like the Roman Catholics Church as the basis of the foundation of their church. Is there any difference between how Baptist Brider proponents and RCC in handling this verse?

Zigfred Diaz: In some sense there is no difference in how Baptist Brider proponents and the Roman Catholic Church handle Mathew 16:18. Both groups are spot on wrong on how they interpret the verse. If we must point out the difference, the difference is probably how and why each of them are wrong. The common and foremost error committed by both groups is of course a wrong interpretation of Scriptures.

For Baptist briders when Jesus Christ said he will build his church they believe that what He established was to use their exact term, a “local New Testament Baptist church.”  This error is based primarily on faulty logic. It is the logical fallacy of equivocation. It is such because since Baptist Briders also hold on to some kind of Baptist Successionism/Landmarkism andin that doctrine one of the foundational things they hold on to is that they believe that since Jesus Christ was Baptized by John the Baptist hence he is a Baptist (just as when somebody is baptized a Roman Catholic, then such person is Roman Catholic) I extensively discussed in my paper the logical fallacy of this reasoning.

On the other hand as mentioned, aside from mainly a wrong interpretation of Scriptures,the Roman Catholic’s error is also some kind of historical theology and for ordinary Roman Catholic most definitely a church history error. Too much emphasis is given on the Apostle Peter. Let me quote from a paper I also wrote on this, but I will not dwell on this much considering this is not the main subject of this interview. It is entitled “Probing Peter’s Papacy:An examination of Roman Catholic and Protestant views on Mathew 16:13-20.” We could discuss more of this in another interview. Anyway here it is:

The strength of the Roman Catholic view is also its weakness as too much emphasis and importance is being given to the Apostle Peter. As discussed in the first Protestant view, Peter himself never referred to himself as “the rock” upon which the Church is built but constantly referred to Christ being the chief cornerstone. While admittedly, the Apostle Peter is always mentioned first in Scriptures and regarded widely as the outspoken leader of the apostles, nowhere in Scriptures can we read that the other Apostles gave the highest regards for Peter just like what the Roman Catholic Church has conferred upon him. Carson in the Expositor’s commentary rightly describes Peter as “first among equals.”  But take note that it was not only Peter that is regarded as the leader among the Apostles. Aside from the fact that the Apostles seemed to “rule” over the church as a group together with other elders, James the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ who was not one of the original 12 and the Apostle John were regarded by the Apostle Paul as the “pillars” of the early church in Galatians 2:9. The Apostle Peter and James seemed to be the lead facilitators in the first church council, the council at Jerusalem and it was James who gave the closing statement and a seeming final judgment on the matter at hand. When Peter was imprisoned and released by an angel, he sent word to “James and to the brethren” about his release. (Acts 12:17) Let me add further that the early church fathers points to James as the First Bishop of the first Christian Church, the church at Jerusalem.”

Delighting Grace: Again thank you for answering some questions. So please invite our reader to download Battling Baptist Bogus Beliefs part 2 which is about the Baptist Brider heresy.

Zigfred Diaz: You are most welcome I invite you all to download my paper dealing with Baptist Bogus Beliefs. This time tackling the Baptist Brider doctrine. Please share this with everybody you know who holds on to this erroneous doctrine. It is really my heart’s desire that this doctrine by refuted and that pastors will stop teaching it in churches as it has done so much damage to the body of Christ and to all of us Baptist collectively. You can download it here.

Delighting Grace: So guys download the free paper and share it to people trap in this false teaching. As Zigfred Diaz will tackles another issue, Delighting Grace will hopefully cover it also.

The Rebel’s Dictionary: Swoonies

The Rebel’s Dictionary injects humor and satire to made up words. TRD’s goal isn’t to poke fun on individuals or use these words to label a person or entity.  By using funny words as jump off point, TRD aims to discuss serious issues concerning Christians, the church and Christianity at large. At the end of every entry, TDR includes biblical and practical answers to such inquiry. That’s what TRD is aiming for. 

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The Rebel’s Dictionary Entry #1

Swoonies (noun) – Refers to a group of people who believes in the swoon theory. It’s a combination of swoon as in the swoon theory (the belief) and Moonies, followers of the Unification Church, a religious cult lead by Sun Myung Moon (that’s were the Moon in Moonies came from) from Korea. Although swoonies doesnt adhere to the teaching of the Unification Church, the number of followers holding to such belief, is enough to call them as a cult. Some of their holy books are Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The DaVinci Code.

 

Reality Check: Sometimes lies never dies. But so is truth. In fact truth, has a eternal imprint that can outlive lies. Lies are only temporal. Truth can stump it out. We just need to boldly stand and proclaim it. If swoon theory gives you problems in reaching out skeptics, here are some links that will help you:

Got Questions: What is Swoon Theory? Did Jesus survive the crucifixion?

Desiring God: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection

Stand To Reason: The Medical Accuracy of John’s Description of Jesus on the Cross

Credo House: Jesus Didn’t Die from Crucifixion (The Swoon Theory)

 

 

Pinoy Preacher List #1

qvfpy4dIn this series, Delighting Grace will feature Filipino or Pinoy preachers that you should consider watching or listening.  I hope and pray that by this small effort, these preachers will widen their reach and glorify God through preaching.

Ramen Caliwag – I’ve been listening to this preacher from Pampanga and I’m benefiting to his sermon. His church, Scripture Alone Baptist Church has an account at SermonAudio which includes not only his sermons but other preachers in that church. You can check his messages by clicking this link.

Derick Parfan – Found this pastor over Facebook by an article he post over his blog. Yes he is a blogger and his blog is Treasuring Christ PH . Check his blog which yield great stuff from free e-books and books he authored available for purchase. And of course, available on his blog is his sermons. So go over there and listen or watch to his messages.

David Anthony Chan – Pastor David hails from Cebu. I first encountered him over Facebook because of his novel he was promoting. I interviewed him on my blog about topic on fiction. And I’m glad that my brother-in-law (which is a preacher) has been seeking advice from him. You can listen to his sermons over Youtube along with other preachers of his church, New Covenant Church Cebu.

So that’s my list for now and if you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller

eoem3usI requested this book (or booklet) from Log College Press not only to share some quotes or do a review, but also get to know the Synod of Dort. As you might not know this year marks the 400th year of the event. It’s worth celebrating because how the church stood up and defend the doctrine of grace against Arminianism.  I have been exposed to it on a lecture of Ryan Reeves on Youtube and it’s excellent. And after reading  A Place Like Heaven, all I can say that it can share the impression I have with the Ryan Reeves video. It’s excellent!

A Place Like Heaven is a primer booklet that explores Synod of Dort. The booklet tackles the events that leads to the synod, during the deliberation and the aftermath of this ecumenical gathering with a American Presbyterian perspective. It ends with some defense The title of this work came from on of the moderators of the synod describing it as a “place like heaven’. The title might sound like a devotional book but that doesn’t discount the weight of what has been examine in this booklet. I think it lightens up a bit by putting an encouraging tone to the book.

Though this is a primer, you’ll praise Samuel Miller for his remarkable writing that which makes this booklet accessible and clear. At first you might have some inhibitions  reading this, although short it’s written in an 18th century English. However as you read on, you’ll get the hang of it. The content is actually engaging and what you might dismiss as a Smithsonian relic, this booklet is really good. Whenever you start reading it, it grabs your attention and for me this is not a boring read. Miller ends this booklet by answering some arguments against the doctrine of grace.

For a 48 page booklet, I can’t believe I learned a lot about Synod of Dort. Sometimes I ask myself if this is really a primer because it really covers lots of areas of the event. Not that it gave all that is to know about the Synod of Dort but the content of this is enough for you to appreciate that important event. Once you read this, Log College Press books will be on your reading list.  A Place Like Heaven is a great addition for your Synod of Dort resources. Please don’t miss out on this book. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5